The Xbox Series X is all set to arrive in November in Japan when it is due to arrive in other markets. It is contrary to the Xbox One, which came to Japan almost a year late after it arrived in many other places. The Japanese site ‘Game Watch’ had posted an inquiry regarding the same to which Microsoft has confirmed and stated that the series would arrive in November.
The Xbox One arrived in 13 countries during November 2013. However, it came to Japan and various other countries only in September 2014, even though Japan has a lot of importance in the game market. A few European countries had to wait for a while to welcome Xbox One into their markets owing to localization issues, as stated by Microsoft. To top it all, Xbox One found it difficult to support multiple languages as all its attention was towards the Kinect development and voice commands.
The Xbox One did not do great in the Japanese markets. The sales figures for the same as put up by Media Create indicate that a total of 1,14,000 units of the platform have been sold right from the time of its launch. This figure also includes the sales of the One S and One X. It has never been easy for Microsoft in Japan, however, the sales figures for Xbox One are much lower than those of Xbox 360, which managed a sale of about 1.65 million units by the end of 2014, a number that was quite remarkable in the country.
In February this year, it was reported that the sales of Xbox One consoles had dropped drastically to less than 50 consoles per week. According to the Japanese site Famitsu, only 38 consoles were sold in the last week of January in the entire country. On the contrary, the country saw outstanding sales of the Switch consoles during the same period. Even the Nintendo 3DS, which is almost on the verge of vanishing from the market, fared better than Xbox in Japan.
It is indeed no doubt that Microsoft has been struggling to stay afloat in the Japanese market, right from the time the original Xbox series launched in 2001. Some of the reasons as to why the platform fared poorly in the country have been stated as:
- More demand for local consoles like Nintendo and Sony
- Absence of Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs) as well as Japanese Studio Support
- Consoles are enormous
- Dull marketing techniques
- No knowledge regarding Microsoft brands
There could be some amount of truth in each of the above points. For instance, when the original Xbox series arrived in Japan, PC gaming was quite famous at that time within the country. Hence, game lovers had little idea about Microsoft compared to those in North America and Europe.
Sometime last year, Xbox head Phil Spencer had admitted that it was not a good idea to launch the Xbox One very late in Japan. He also wished to see the Xbox platform perform well in the Japanese market, which might be quite tricky in a country where the sales for Nintendo Switch are much higher than that of the PS4. However, it remains to be seen how Microsoft can include Japanese games on the Xbox.
Recently, Microsoft has finalized a few deals that would end up in bringing major series like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Yakuza to Xbox Game Pass.
Image source: Cnet